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    Toronto-based artist Pouya Sayyedi is a true renaissance man.

    The 29-year-old U of T engineering grad, who goes by @pouyasnap online, moved to Toronto thirteen years ago from Tehran and has since worked as a mechanical design engineer, an illustrator, a UI/UX designer, a graphic designer, and now a full time visual artist.

    Cartoons have always been his passion, but it wasn't until the release of Snapchat (with its hand doodling capabilities) that he discovered a "finger with a sense of humour."

    "In my art, I'm trying to use my imagination to bring these bizarre and funny characters to life," said the artist on Tuesday of his whimsical works, which blend photography and illustration to make the world look more fun.

    "I'm seeing a world with more colours and characters who just simply make me laugh," he continued. "It could be a happy broccoli in a bowl of hot water or a friendly dragon around a Christmas tree."

    Here, in a piece posted earlier today, is a friendly dragon wrapped around the 100-foot-tall Christmas Tree at Toronto's Eaton Centre.

    Pouyasnap first rose to fame a few years back after writers from publications such as Buzzfeed and New York Magazine noticed his wicked work. 

    Sayyedi says that much of his art was done by index finger at first, but his tools have evolved with the times. Right now he uses a Microsoft Surface Book and stylus to draw most of what appears on his Instagram account.

    Not everything he chooses as a subject is in Toronto — in fact, a lot of places aren't — but when the 6ix does show up on @pouyasnap it's always pretty good.

    Here's what he's done with the Toronto Christmas Market...

    The Harbourfront...

    The TTC subway...

    Pearson International Airport...

    BMO Field...

    One of those big red city sightseeing buses...

    Yonge-Dundas Square...

    Toronto's Cafe Plenty...

    And, of course, our iconic back alley dumpsters.

    You can check out more of Sayyedi's work, inspired by landmarks around the globe, on Instagram right here.


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    This apartment is so bleak and overpriced, you'd almost consider moving back in with your parents.

    218 queen street east torontoAbove a Freedom Mobile is this shoebox for $1,600 a month. It’s listed as a studio but that's pretty generous.

    218 queen street east torontoThe listing says there’s lots of light and windows. I count exactly one window. Also the majority of the apartment is under a bed... At least you know there’s no monsters.

    The entire place reminds me of those Ikea bunk beds I used to fantasize about as a kid. You know the ones where you had an entire play area under your bed? Except the reality of anyone over the age of 12 sleeping in one is tragic.

    218 queen street east torontoSpeaking of this “loft bed”, it’s crooked, so you’ll probably have to army crawl up to your pillow every night as you slowly slide down toward the bottom of the bed. Second, getting up those rickety stairs looks like a drunk accident waiting to happen.

    Lastly, does anyone like waking up with the ceiling inches from their face? You’re bound to get permanent brain damage with the number of times you smack your head on the ceiling when you sit up too quickly.

    218 queen street east torontoThe kitchen is under the bed and it looks like a straight-up fire hazard. This place has zero storage as well. You might have to pull a Carrie Bradshaw, forgo cooking and use the oven to store your shoes.

    218 queen street east torontoThe bathroom might be the least problematic part of the entire place and yet the shower has three different types of tile. WHY? Could they not settle on one? Was this a collage art project gone wrong? How many times have they had to fix the shower??!!

    Specs
    • Address: 218 Queen Street East
    • Type: Apartment
    • Rent: $1,600/ month
    • Furnished? No
    • Utilities: Yes
    • Air conditioning? If you install it
    • Bedrooms: 0
    • Bathrooms: 1
    • Parking: None
    • Laundry? Onsite
    • Outdoor space? The sidewalk outside the building
    • Pet friendly? Yes (but honestly anything larger than a hamster would be animal cruelty)
    Good For

    Someone who really misses bunk beds or likes the feeling of sleeping in a coffin.  

    Move On If

    If you’d rather not die trying to climb into bed after a sloppy night out.


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    Toronto City Council is completely at the whim of the province, we learned, when Premier Doug Ford slashed the size of it in half just months ago. 

    Now, the city is being reminded of that powerlessness again as the province discusses uploading management of the TTC to the provincial government. 

    In a confidential document retrieved by the Toronto Star, legal experts explain that city council has basically no viable option when it comes to the upload. 

    The province, with all its glorious power, can essentially relegislate or redistribute property as it wishes, and it doesn't even need to fairly compensate Toronto. 

    In the doozy of a report, experts explain how the province could leave TTC-related debt with the city, or even dissolve the transit agency altogether. 

    The only power that can stop the province for good is the federal government, but it'll be choosing its battles carefully as the Liberals gear up for a federal election in 2019. 

    While transit advocates, many city councillors and staff oppose the upload, the province says it wants to expand the subway system to outlying GTA suburbs like Pickering

    Council is voting on Thursday whether to authorize Chris Murray, the city manager, to start discussions with the province. Whether the province will listen, however, is a historical "no." 


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    Are you seeking somewhere fancy to brag about for your next vacation? A short cab ride could be all it takes to get there, if you live in what the prestigious American magazine Travel + Leisure refers to as "Toronto, Canada."

    Toronto is one of only two spots in the country to appear on T+L's annual "50 best places to travel" list for 2019, the other being Alberta. As in the entire province of Alberta.

    This will come as little surprise to those who've been following Toronto's tourism numbers. A record 44 million visitors spend almost $9 billion here in 2017 alone, more than 5 million of them coming from overseas for the first time ever.

    What's unexpected about Travel + Leisure's decision to include Toronto on its list of the 50 best places to travel in 2019 is why.

    "The city is raising its art game," writes the New York-based magazine. "The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada has reopened after a three-year, $13 million relocation and expansion, and 2019 will see the launch of the Toronto Biennial of Art."

    T+L recommends that travelers plan an entire visit around Winter Stations or Nuit Blanche Toronto—both awesome events, but like... not as awesome as anything that happens when it's warm outside. Just saying.

    The magazine also cites Toronto's booming luxury boutique hotel scene as a reason to check it out, which is fair if you like being inside hotels more than out and about in the city. 

    "Check in to one of the many new properties," reads the blurb on Toronto. "The Kimpton Saint George displays over 700 works by Canadian artists, the Anndore House has in-room record players, and the luxe St. Regis Toronto brings old-school opulence to the city."

    The top 50 list is arranged in alphabetical order, so it's hard to say in this case how Toronto stacks up against other locales, like The Grenadines, Cambodia or Houston, Texas.

    toronto travel leisure

    Travel + Leisure recommends Toronto as one of its 50 best places to visit in 2019 because of art galleries like MOCA. Screenshot of Travel + Leisure, Image via MOCA.

    In any case, the image used to illustrate our fair city is kind of a depressing one compared to all of the mountains and waterfalls in T+L's list.

    Come to Toronto, it seems to say, if you like sitting indoors and looking at pictures of people enjoying beautiful garden landscapes.

    We're really much better of a place to visit between June and September.


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    Commuters in Toronto often have huge headaches during their travels, between late buses, subway closures and streetcar diversions. 

    But commuters this morning had a very different experience, as they were stuck on a train with a man wielding what's been described by witnesses as a large axe. 

    Police were called to Spadina Station this morning where there was reports of a man swinging an axe around both on the subway and in the station.

    An arrest was made, but that didn't stop people from being terrorized. TTC service was rerouted, including the subway skipping Spadina Station for a brief time. 

    Police initially believed the suspect had a large knife, though witnesses were quick to say it was actually an axe. 

    No injuries have been reported at this time, and the man has been apprehended by police.


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    New restaurants on King West are constantly outdoing each other. Flower-filled chocolate bombs, tables that make phones disappear, and hidden champagne speakeasies are just some of the novel concepts that brought diners to one of Toronto’s most active strips.

    Here are my picks for the top new restaurants on King West.

    Mira

    Boasting a chocolate bomb with flowers on the inside that’s become an Instagram hit, this Peruvian restaurant is tucked away down an alley off Wellington.

    Rosina

    Calabrian cuisine has a new home in Toronto at this relaxed spot serving pizza and wine.

    Sara Restaurant

    On Portland, this new restaurant makes understatement an overstatement with smart minimalist design and thoughtful small sharing plates of sashimi, dumplings and latkes.

    Marbl

    This restaurant replacing Fring’s right at Spadina is, indeed, filled with marble, serves a mean steak, and sports a secretive champagne lounge in the basement.

    Bootleg Smokehouse

    King and Spadina got a smoked meat destination this year in the form of this restaurant doing done-up classics.


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    The Rexall drug store at Dundas and Spadina could one day be Toronto's hottest nightclub—and not for the first time, either.

    That huge, brownish-yellow block of a brick building on the northeast corner of Chinatown's main intersection was actually built in the early 1920s as a theatre. Designed in the Art Deco style by architect Benjamin Brown, it was developed by Toronto's Jewish community and known for hosting vaudeville performances in Yiddish.

    The venue was known as Standard Theatre when it opened back in 1921, but changes in ownership saw the name switch around a few times before The Victory Theatre was born in 1941.

    victory theatre old

    The Victory became one of Toronto's raciest performing venues after the end of World War II. Image via City of Toronto Archives.

    With a focus on all things burlesque, the Victory was controversial in its day. Once, a dancer dropped her pasties, exposing her nipples to the crowd mid-act, violating Toronto's morality clause, and inspiring news articles with names such as "Crisis at the Victory Burlesk."

    Facing competition from actual strip clubs a few decades later, The Victory closed down in 1975 after more than 30 years on the scene. It was eventually converted into a Chinese-language cinema and then, in 1996, converted for retail purposes.

    A 2007 heritage assessment, however, revealed that much of the interior structure from the 1970s remains intact.

    "The auditorium with the stage, the side walls with the Classical decoration, and the recessed ceiling" are all listed as reasons for designating 285 Spadina Avenue under the Ontario Heritage Act, though the theatre part of the building has been boarded up since 1992.

    victory theatre 2018

    The main entrance to the old Victory Theatre was bricked over by new owners back in the 1990s. Image via Google Maps.  

    Enter veteran Toronto club owner Rony Hitti, who signed a 20-year-lease with the building's new owners in 2015 and pledged $10 million toward renovating the space.

    Hitti, who founded the Yorkville hotspot Boa Cafe back in the 1990s, told the Globe and Mail this week that he's now planning to reopen the Victory Theatre.

    "You walk into a space like this and light bulbs go off," he said to the newspaper, later explaining his visions of "an old-style Spadina deli, a vampy Chinese banquet hall adorned with noirish references, immersive high-tech light shows, lectures," and maybe even burlesque performances.

    victory theatre torontoBusiness was starting to slow down at the Victory by 1972, when this photo was taken. Image via City of Toronto Archives.

    The businessman says he wants to reopen the venue this summer as an entertainment and heritage food emporium.

    The theatre will be able to hold up to 1,000 people, if all goes well, and there will be seating for additional 400 patrons across two different on-site restaurants.

    Some of his plans, like those for painting a "modern-day Sistine Chapel" over the elaborate frescoe ceilings, might not come to fruition thanks to challenges from the historical board, but we can, at the very least, depend on a cool marquee, should the Victory come back to life.


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    Lot No. 40 Canadian whisky is partnering with Poor Romeo to bring a new twist to old cocktails. To celebrate the launch, we've teamed up with Lot No. 40 to give readers a chance to win a $100 gift card to Poor Romeo.


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  • 12/12/18--10:47: The Best Soup in Toronto
  • The best soup in Toronto is like a warm hug. One of the few dishes that’s served everywhere from humble stalls to high-end restaurants, mastery of the simple soup is essential for chefs everywhere.

    Here’s the best soup in Toronto.

    10 - Hibiscus Cafe

    Locations of this place in Kensington Market and Assembly Chef’s Hall serve completely organic, gluten-free and vegan soups by the cup or bowl, served with a raw cracker.
    11 - One Love Vegetarian Cafe

    There are zero animal products in anything at this restaurant near Bathurst station, where they serve a corn soup that’s been featured on the Food Network.
    7 - Liberty Village Market and Cafe

    Ready-made vegan soups can be found at this unfussy spot named after the Liberty Village neighbourhood where it’s located.
    4 - Soup Nutsy

    Multiple centrally-clustered locations of this punnily-named spot have more soups than you can shake a stick at with multiple seafood, vegetable, chilled, quinoa, poultry and meat soup options.
    6 - Cafe Polonez

    The beet borscht at this Roncesvalles Polish institution can be ordered with either meat or mushroom dumplings, and they also do white borscht, French onion soup, beef tripe soup, beef goulash soup. Daily soups include tomato, mushroom and cauliflower.
    3 - RaviSoups on Adelaide

    Locations of this chain specializing in soup are scattered throughout the city. A global range of influences take the soups here way beyond chicken noodle, with options like beef miso, chicken hot pot and curried apricot with red lentil.
    9 - Janchenko Bakery

    Homemade soups like borscht and broccoli are available to stay or to go in mason jars from this Bloor West Village East European hot table restaurant and bakery.
    8 - Saffron Spice Kitchen

    Delicious mulligatawny and sambar soups ring in at under $10 and come with a samosa at this place on Queen West.
    5 - United Bakers Dairy

    The split pea soup at this family restaurant at Bathurst and Lawrence has a big reputation for a little dish. Beet borscht is the only other soup they serve daily, offering vegetable, barley bean, and potato and cabbage borscht on their own dedicated days throughout the week.

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    Should each of Toronto's 25 different wards have different rules when it comes to selling marijuana?

    Councilllor Jim Karygiannis of Scarborough-Agincourt certainly thinks so, and he'll be introducing a motion to that effect tomorrow at City Hall.

    "During the recent municipal election, my constituents told me that they did not want marijuana dispensaries in their neighbourhood," said Karygiannis in a release via his website this week. "They believe that marijuana dispensaries will negatively impact our community."

    City council is already set to debate whether or not cannabis should be sold in Toronto at all, thanks to the provincial government's last-minute Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act. 

    Bill 36—passed just two days after recreational marijuana became legal in Canada—gives every municipality a chance to "opt-out" of allowing weed stores to operate within city limits. The choice can be made only once and must be registered with the province by January 22.

    Cities that do choose to opt-out will remain dry, so to speak, when provincially-licensed private cannabis retail stores open across Ontario in April of 2019.

    Residents of those cities would, of course, still be allowed to consume marijuana in this case, as it is legal to do so at the federal level. They'd just have to buy all of it online through the government's own Ontario Cannabis Store...or illegally.

    Between March 2016 and November 2018, 1,260 charges laid against Toronto pot shop owners/employees, with 548 convictions. For something that was on its way to becoming legal. pic.twitter.com/gFzIPL3TnS

    Toronto's own City Manager recommended in a report this week that the city does not opt-out, arguing that prohibiting cannabis stores "would limit Toronto residents' access to legal and government-regulated recreational cannabis" and force people to turn elsewhere.

    "It is anticipated that prohibiting legal cannabis retail stores would have the unintended consequence of encouraging the illegal market to continue to operate," reads the report, "either through storefronts selling illegal products or by driving illegal cannabis sales underground."

    Should members of City Council agree, brick-and-mortar weed stores will open in Toronto as planned come April 1.

    What Karygiannis wants, however, is for individual wards to have an opt-out option of their own.

    "If municipalities are permitted to 'opt-out', then Wards, which are the size of many of these municipalities, should also have that option." he wrote on his website. "When it comes to dispensing marijuana, I believe that Councillors should listen to their constituents."

    Mayor John Tory, meanwhile, has stated that, while he supports cannabis retail stores in Toronto, he wants the city to have as much control over how they're run as possible.

    "While I don't believe saying 'no' to cannabis retail stores in our city is a practical position," said Tory in a statement on Monday, "we should be maximizing safety and the protection of children and neighbourhoods from any negative effects that may come about as a result of these stores."


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    Toronto's westernly neighbour, the great Mississauga, just voted to ban pot shops within city borders. 

    The provincial government has left the decision to allow or ban dispensaries up to individual municipalities, with a short deadline of January 22, 2019. Currently, many municipalities are having the tough conversation, including Toronto

    Choosing to err on the side of caution, Mississauga city council voted 10-2 against the allowance of cannabis retail stores in the city. 

    This limits the amount of funding the city of Mississauga will receive from the province's Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund. It will now receive just over $300,000 due to its lack of physical retail cannabis stores. 

    Those who plan to partake in Mississauga will have to buy their weed online, at the notoriously glitchy Ontario Cannabis Store, or in another city. 


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    Bad news for bun lovers in downtown Toronto: Ding Dong Pastries and Cafe is closed, albeit temporarily, after racking up some serious health code violations earlier this week.

    A notice on the website for Toronto Public Health's food safety program shows that Ding Dong was shut down on Monday, December 10, after inspectors found evidence of five different infractions.

    The narrow bake shop at 321 Spadina Avenue, famous for its delicious sweets and unbelievably low prices, got dinged with one ticket, three notices to comply, and one Summons and Health Hazard Order as a result of this week's investigation.

    Two of the infractions were deemed "significant" and related to the harbouring of pests and failure to ensure a clean surface. The condition for closure is listed as "food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard" and is considered "crucial."

    Ding Dong was similarly shut down in August with nine infractions, once of which was for rodents, and had also been closed by health inspectors last year for offences including the failure to "prevent gross unsanitary conditions."


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    Holiday gift ideas for your significant other will show your favourite person that you really know them, inside and out. Whether they're a savant in the kitchen, a book worm, or just someone who likes to snuggle, the best gift for your S.O. is a thoughtful one.

    Here are some holiday gift ideas for your significant other. 

    Leather-bound travel notebook from Paper Plus Cloth

    There's something extra precious about a leather-bound notebook, and this beautiful store in Parkdale sells the one from Traveler's Company. With refillable paper, it's the kind that journaling enthusiasts will swoon over.

    Blankets for cuddling from Drake General Store

    Snuggling season is here, meaning it's prime time for curling up underneath a blanket and playing footsie with your boo. Head to West Queen West and grab one of Drake General's ridiculously comfortable throws made out of recycled cotton. 

    Wine condoms from Northwood General

    Yes, it's a thing—and yes, you might actually need them. Combining two of your favourite things (wine and, well, you know) these witty little inventions will help you keep that unfinished wine bottle protected so you can 'play safe,' as they say. 

    Date night at Pursuit OCR

    If you two are the active type, an evening at this massive indoor obstacle course at Highway 27 and Finch might be a great way to spend some quality time. Grab a one-day pass and hit the many different challenges to push each other to the limit—in a good way, of course.

    Sweat session from Dew Sweat House

    If your loved one's been feeling stressed, they'll appreciate a session at this sweat spa in Leslieville. There are few things more therapeutic than spending 55 minutes cocooned in a heated blanket. They even get to watch an episode of something on Netflix  (yes, without you). 

    Global knives from Tap Phong

    Anybody who enjoys spending time in the kitchen needs a set of knives made from the best stainless steel. Shop an assortment of blades at this staple Chinatown supply store and find the perfect tool for your cherished chef.

    Book on relationships from Type Books Junction

    Do you know each other's love languages? Now might be a good time to learn. Sort through the great selection at Type Books' new location in the Junction for the person that loves their literature.

    Staycation at Annex Hotel

    Full-blown vacations are hard to plan, especially this time of year. For something easier on the schedule (and the budget), a night at this boutique hotel in the Annex should do. Every room in this stripped-down service has super fast WiFi and a record player—vinyls included.

    Box of chocolates from Mary’s Brigadeiro

    Christmas, Valentine's, Easter, a regular ol' Monday: it's never a bad day to get a box of chocolates. Anyone with a sweet tooth will adore a gift box of delicious, handmade Brazilian chocolate truffles.

    Coffee pot from Average

    For the caffeinated cutie in your life, a beautiful handmade coffee pot from Japan will make their favourite morning process so much better. Head to this minimalist design store on West Queen West to cop this elegant pot designed by Big-Game.


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    Bye bye, Bathurst Bowlerama and your blacklight-powered cosmic bowling parties. Another childhood relic lost in the throes of development fever.

    Yes, just like O'Connor Bowl, Bowlerama West, and the Newtonbrook Bowlerama, the legendary, two-level bowling alley at 2788 Bathurst Street is shutting down to make way for condos.

    Opened in 1962, the old Bathurst Bowlerama and entertainment centre is set to close for good on December 15, 2018, after 56 years and countless birthday celebrations.

    A representative for the business confirmed that a condo development will be replacing the Bowlerama, who's lease was up this year either way.

    Rezoning documents submitted to the City of Toronto this summer show that Lanterra Developments wants to build a 10-storey mixed-use residential and retail complex on the site with a total of 113 condo units.

    The building, designed by IBI Group, would also include a 26-suite hotel and more than 226 square metres each of indoor and outdoor amenity space.

    bathurst bowlerama condos

    The 'Glenhill Condominiums' are set to replace the storied bowling alley at Bathurst and Glencairn in Toronto. Image via City of Toronto submission.

    No word yet on when work is expected to begin on the condos, but the Bathurst Bowlerama will cease to be come Sunday morning.

    So say goodbye to one of Toronto's last remaining old-school bowling alleys while you still can.

    Those snack bar nachos won't cry into themselves.


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    It's one day closer to the weekend and events in Toronto today have a lot in store. A Christmas wrestling show is on and a new cabaret series is making its debut. A new art exhibit asks you to take part in the work and a multinational holiday market has tons of food on hand.

    Events you might want to check out:

    A Merry Lucha Libre Christmas Show (December 13 @ Opera House)
    There's nothing like a little wrestling to get you into the holiday spirit and Lucha Libre is back with a Christmas show with live performances and more.
    F#ck Sh!t Up (December 13 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Trans and non-binary performers are ready to slay at this new PWYC cabaret series with performances by Gay Jesus, Halal Bae, Mike Hunt, Rae Spoon and more.
    Metropolitan (December 13 @ Revue Cinema)
    It's winter debutante ball season in New York City and Designing the Movies is here to unpack the look and feel of the film's prep-school aesthetic.
    Paid in Full (December 13 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    A star-studded cast populates this film that captures the seedy underbelly of the gangster world, and it's accompanied by a stellar soundtrack.
    EveryLetterCyborg (December 13 @ InterAccess)
    Artist Xuan Ye showcases a new body of work that uses viewer input to generate and translate text through Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto.
    Save Our Scruff Holiday Pawty (December 13 @ Boxcar Social (Harbourfront))
    A party for a good cause, Boxcar is teaming up with Save Our Scruff to raise money for pets in need with a night of drinks, music, merch and an auction.
    Busty and the Bass (December 13 @ Mod Club Theatre)
    From Montreal comes this electro-pop, hip-hop, soul, R&B collective with a big brass sound that's full of funk.
    Regent Park Multi-National Holiday Market (December 13 @ Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development)
    Foods from over ten countries can be found at this big holiday market that includes tasting stations and a makers market.
    Howlin' Circus (December 13 @ Monarch Tavern)
    Blues and gospel come together on Howlin' Circus's newest album "Run The Wrong Way" and they're ready to hit he stage with Dorjee Sounds and more.
    Super Hot Date Night (December 13 @ Bad Dog Comedy Theatre)
    Ahh, dating. Toronto improvisers are on-hand to take on the harsh world of dating with performances by Scam Algie and The Lovers.

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    Nestled in the quiet neighbourhood of Summerhill, this three-bed reminds me of the canal houses in Amsterdam. This house is narrow and has three storeys officially, but five if you’re really counting.10 walker ave toronto

    The main floor is open concept, and very well-lit. The big windows let lots of natural light filter in and there’s a wood burning fireplace, which you don’t often see in modern townhouses.

    10 walker ave torontoThe kitchen is stylish with a quartz waterfall eat-in breakfast bar and chef-grade appliances.

    110 walker ave torontoOn the second floor, you have two bedrooms and a bathroom. I’m in love with the mural in the nursery. It’s so cute!

    10 walker ave torontoThe master suite is located on the third floor. It’s spacious, has a walk-in closet and a four-piece en suite.

    10 walker ave torontoThere’s more space with the rec room in the basement and a small loft space above the master bedroom. As for outdoor space, there’s a small patio with enough room for a BBQ and a place to eat.10 walker ave toronto

    Specs
    • Address: #115 - 10 Walker Ave.
    • Price: $1,875,000
    • Bedrooms: 3
    • Bathrooms: 3
    • Parking: 1
    • Walk Score: 82    
    • Transit Score: 89
    • Maintenance Fees: $852 monthly
    • Listing agent: Boris Kholodov
    • Listing ID: C431299710 walker ave toronto
    Good For

    Commuting. This place is in the perfect location to get the tranquillity of being removed from the downtown core, but the ease of access of the Yonge subway line.10 walker ave toronto

    Move On If

    You don’t feel like doing a StairMaster workout every time you go to bed. 10 walker ave toronto


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    Toronto Restaurant Openings highlights the latest food news in Toronto and gives a preview of what's coming soon. Find us here every Thursday morning.

    Open now
    • The Dog and Tiger Public House has opened at 537 College Street (at Euclid) in Little Italy.
    • Another location of Basil Box has opened at 410 Bathurst Street (at Nassau).
    • Praise Patisserie is now open inside the BMV Books at 244 Queen Street West (by John).
    • Juzz Sushi has opened in what was previously Bunny's at 912 Queen Street East in Leslieville.
    • Pixels and Pints is now open at 791 Broadview Avenue (at Erindale Avenue) just north of The Danforth.
    • Papyrus, an Egyptian spot, has soft opened at 337 Danforth Avenue (at Jackman Avenue).
    • King’s Drive-In, a White Castle look-alike, is now open at 919 Pape Avenue (at Mortimer) in Pape Village.
    • Argentinian Neruda Restaurant opened yesterday at 1681 Lake Shore Boulevard East in the Beaches.
    • Chau has launched a bi-weekly weekend brunch service at the new 848 King Street West (by Niagara) location of Wallace Espresso. The next one happens this weekend.
    • Restaurateur Hemant Bhagwani's Goa Kitchen is now open at Bayview Village at 2901 Bayview Avenue.
    • Pablo Cheese Tart has opened its third location, this time at Fairview Mall in North York.
    Recently reviewed
    Opening soon
    • Kinka Izakaya will be opening a new 2,800-square-foot location at 1 York Street by the waterfront next spring.
    • A location of My Roti Place will be replacing Bacchus Roti in Parkdale.
    • Yang Teashop is opening its 2nd location at 5295 Yonge Street in North York.
    Closed

    Have you seen restaurants opening or closing in your neighbourhood? Email tips to editors@blogto.com.


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    It looks like the bubble may finally have popped—or at least stopped growing much bigger—for Canada's largest housing market.

    The average price of a new home in Toronto fell by 1.5 per cent in October, year over year, according to new data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday.

    StatsCan's New Housing Price Index for October 2018 shows that, while the cost of a new house in Toronto fell just 0.1 per cent between September and October, it plummeted at a faster rate than we've seen since 1996 over the preceding 12 months.

    The pace of construction on new, single-family homes also fell by a whopping 40.3 per cent in Toronto between October of 2017 and October of 2018 (though the condo market, it's safe to say, has been doing quite well).

    new price index statscan

    Statistics Canada data shows the Toronto census metropolitan area dropping from 104.7 to 103.2 on the new housing price index in just 12 months. Image via StatsCan.

    Bloomberg suggests this data further proves the success of government measures, introduced last year to help cool Toronto's too-hot housing market, such as tighter federal mortgage lending guidelines and Ontario's Fair Housing plan.

    "The Bank of Canada also raised its trend-setting interest rate five times between July 2017 and October of this year," notes the business news agency. "New home prices were advancing at an annual pace of almost 4 percent late last year before the mortgage rules took effect."

    Canada-wide, the picture isn't quite so harsh (unless you're looking to make money by selling a house). 

    The new home price index was up just 0.1 per cent, year over year, across the country as of October, which StatsCan says marks the smallest annual increase its seen since January 2010.

    Two exceptions to the trend are the census metropolitan areas surrounding Windsor, up 0.9 per cent, and Ottawa, up 0.6 per cent.

    Bully for them.


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    Shows to see on stage in Toronto over the holidays run the gamut with acrobatic spectacles from overseas to theatrical Canadian productions of yearly faves. Grab your seats before these hot tickets sell out, and enjoy the show. 

    Here are my picks for the top hows to see on stage in Toronto over the holidays.

    Corteo

    Acrobats, musicians, clowns—you'll get it all during Cirque du Soleil's grand spectacular at the Scotiabank Arena. The troupe will be running two shows a day, but they'll only be in town until Dec. 16. 

    Wizard of Oz

    There's never been a Wizard of Oz production quite like this. The latest from Ross Petty at the Elgin starts off during a street festival on Lower Ossington and features unique sponsor integration throughout.

    Charlie and Chocolate Factory

    Get your golden ticket to this show at the Princess of Wales Theatre and watch one of Roald Dahl's most famous children's books come to life on stage until January 6. 

    Nutcracker

    This classic never gets old. Transport yourself to Russia during the holidays with this luxurious ballet and watch the incredible dancers of The National Ballet of Canada pirouette around to Tchaikovsky at the Four Seasons Centre. It goes until December 30. 

    Slava's Snow Show

    It's been 20 years since this group of clowns came to Toronto, and now they're back for another run until December 16. Revel in all things winter with this snow-themed show at the Bluma Appel Theatre.

    Best is Yet to Come Undone

    Prepare to laugh at this Second City production, where some of the comedy enterprise's best come together for a hilarious show at the theatre on Mercer Street until the end of January.  

    Reversible

    This acrobatic extravaganza at the CAA Theatre brings a mix of circus, dance, and music to the stage. Watch the 7 Fingers collective from Montreal do their thing until January 6. 

    Champions of Magic

    If watching someone walk through the blades of a spinning industrial fan sounds up your alley, this show at Bluma Appel Theatre is for you. You can catch the disappearing and teleportation acts of this U.K. magic show until January 6.

    The Wonder Pageant

    Christmas-themed improv is the merry mandate of this show at the Coal Mine Theatre. Prepare for hilarity in ugly sweaters in this comedy show which runs until December 23. 

    Come from Away

    This modern musical will make you fall in love with the East Coast in this sing-songy production about Newfoundland. The show runs at the Royal Alexandra Theatre up to January 20, before it moves to the Elgin in June.


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    New Mexican restaurants in Toronto all have one thing in common: fantastic tortillas. This comes as no surprise seeing one of the New Mexican places that opened this year doubles as a masa wholesaler. 

    Here are my picks for the top new Mexican restaurants in Toronto 

    Quetzal

    Tortillas at this College St. restaurant are cooked on a traditional clay comal over an open flame, then stuffed with things like beans, cabbage and quesillo and accompanied by salsas. This spot also does ceviches and steaks.

    Zocalo

    This Bloor and Lansdowne spot finally called it quits with its previous incarnation as Filipino restaurant Dolly’s and has turned back to Playa Cabana’s bread and butter: Mexican. Tortas, tacos and margaritas are on the menu in the revamped space.

    Good Hombres

    This humble industrial spot on Bathurst just north of Dundas is now pumping out wholesale masa and tortillas. They're used to make some of the finest fast tacos currently available in the city, available in varieties like tinga de pollo, carne asada, pescado, bistec and rajas poblanas.

    Cinco

    Blue corn tortillas with cheese in between them for the shells of gourmet tacos distinguish this Mexican spot on Roncesvalles. Opt for a gourmet seafood taco or a simpler street taco, like chicken on a white tortilla.

    Rosalinda

    At long last, vegans have a place for upscale Mexican on Richmond in the Financial District. Tostadas are topped with cauliflower and well, maybe it’s not so Mexican, but, there’s a great veggie burger on the menu here as well.


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